Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

My Photo
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, January 06, 2014


A largely forgotten event in US history - the post-WW I bonus Army occupation of Washington.  The government crushing of this veterans rebellion was brutal and unforgiving.This is a perfect historical illustration of just how this country chews up and spits out its war veterans who fought and died to the benefit of the capitalist oligarchy.

I just finished reading a book about this WW I period called "Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, The Great War, and The Right to Dissent".  It's the moving story about the US government's repression of the Socialist Party candidate for president in 1920 - Eugene V. Debs. Author Ernest Freeberg quotes Debs from his famous 1918 Canton, Ohio anti-war speech that landed him in jail after being charged with ten counts of sedition. He was convicted and given a 10-year sentence (he served nearly three years before being released):

"They have always taught you that it is your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at command.  But in all of the history of the world you, the people, never had a voice in declaring war.... And here let me state a fact - and it cannot be repeated too often: the working class who fight the battles, the working class who make the sacrifices, the working class who shed the blood, the working class who furnish the corpses, the working class have never yet had a voice in declaring war.... If war is right, let it be declared by the people - you, who have your lives to lose; you certainly ought to declare war, if you consider war a necessary."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home